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Vinci: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Vinci
Genre:  Civilization Building
Format:  Board Games

Vinci: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

2nd edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
14+ 120 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Philippe Keyaerts

Manufacturer(s): Eurogames Descartes USA

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Product Description

Game Theme
From prehistoric times through the Middle Ages, many civilizations followed one another. Through conquest, they built great empires and expanded their influence across vast areas. However, these empires would never last. As their influence and responsibility expanded, their inability to maintain control would weaken their empire. Their nation and culture would enter a period of decline. Other civilizations would move in and establish their own empires on the ruins of their predecessors. Thus humanity progressed.

Game Mechanics
Vinci invites you to become the leader of an incipient civilization. Using your civilization's different skills and attributes you attempt to build an empire. Your opponents represent the leaders of other civilizations, with skills very different from yours. You are all competing for the same resources and territory while building your empires. When your empire grows so large that your people are spread too thinly to expand the empire, you declare that empire to be entering a period of decline. Then you choose a new civilization and begin the process all over again. You earn victory points for every province that your civilizations occupy. The player who earns a predetermined number of victory points wins the game.

Game Characteristics
With easy to learn rules and beautiful game components, Vinci is a very accessible game. Each game is different from the last because the Civilization Counters offered to the players allow each civilization's characteristics to vary drastically. In order to win in the face of continually changing situations, it is necessary to be an astute strategist. Choosing the best civilization, exploiting its strengths and its weaknesses, declaring the decline of the empire at the most convenient moment are delicate decisions, and this is the challenge of Vinci. No matter what obstacles you encounter, you always remain in the race.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 2000
Deutscher Spiele Preis
3rd place, 2000
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Philippe Keyaerts

  • Manufacturer(s): Eurogames Descartes USA

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 6

  • Time: 120 minutes

  • Ages: 14 and up

  • Weight: 1,125 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.


  • 150 Pawns, in 6 colors, to represent the populations of the empires
  • 6 Large Pawns, in 6 colors, to indicate the victory points of the players
  • 33 Brown Pawns to represent the population of the declining empires and fortifications
  • 45 small cardboard markers, to mark the provinces of the declining empires
  • 52 Civilization Counters to indicate the characteristics of the civilizations
  • 1 Game Board representing Europe divided into provinces
  • 1 Cloth Bag to store the Pawns
  • 1 Summary of Play sheet
  • 6 Civilization sheets
  • 1 Rule Book
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.7 in 19 reviews

Every new game is different, it's always a challenge
March 07, 2003

Vinci is my long time favourite in the class of 2 hour games.

The goal is to realize your own weakness in good time.

Everybody chooses a civilization having some advantages over the others.

Some are strong, some are small, but make a lot of money,

some just pay off because the others don't want them.

Your folks start grand and eventually they will become so weak that

it's time to give up and start with a new one.

The nice thing with this concept is that when you've completely messed up

your people, you just start over and have fun again, instead of paying for

your mistakes for the rest of the game.

Loads of fun... many close games
April 10, 2001

This game was more popular than Settlers of Catan in our Friday night group. There is less chance and more strategy involved.

Our group seems to be evenly split between wargamers and casual gamers. This game seemed to make both groups happy. I realize that it depends on the style of game you like to play, but I think this game is better than some of the reviews here indicate.

Yes, there are some ambiguities in the rules, but the clarifications available on the net and some decisions by committee seem to clear things up well enough.

I would also agree that it doesn't seem to work well with less than 3 players. But, so what? Many games don't. We usually play with 5-6 players. If someone slows down too much (some strategizing is allowed of course), we find that saying something like, 'Whose turn is it again? Oh. Of course. Go, go, go, go, go' seems to work fine. That could be peculiar to our little group, I suppose.

One of the neat things that everyone likes about the game is the ebb and flow of the different civilizations. You do get the feel of civilizations growing, expanding then dying. Most games are extremely close (at least between 2-3 leaders) with players usually having a chance to make a come back even when doing poorly.

I even got ambitious and made a Risk-like map of the world with Vinci-colored territories. This may have extended the viability of the game in the group somewhat (we played it at least once every meeting for months).

Easy mechanics, light strategy, reasonable playing time. I highly recommend this game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Vinci Conquers All
May 15, 2000

In my opinion this is the best game of the year. If world-conquest games are of interest to you at all, Vinci is a 'must have.' Rather than repeat the more detailed reviews that appear here, just let me say that Vinci has more strategic depth and more varied replay than any world conquest game of comparable complexity that I know of. Again, as others have said, make sure you download the errata and, during play, use some kind of 'game accelerator' to keep dawdlers moving along.

Show all 19 reviews >

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